Washington, D.C. — Phil Goldberg, Special Counsel for the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, issued the following statement addressing the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Baltimore’s climate lawsuit:
“Today’s ruling misses the real issue here. Baltimore’s case, which the court acknowledges is novel, may be creatively packaged under state law, but the nature of climate change, this litigation and the remedies they seek are all inherently beyond the scope of any state. Figuring out how to address climate change and its impacts around the country is a major national and international priority that cannot be decided piecemeal by state judges based on a narrow set of politically motivated allegations.
The U.S. Supreme Court already cautioned against climate litigation, which is why this ruling increases the likelihood the Supreme Court will ultimately hear these cases again. It makes no sense to spend years litigating climate cases in state courts when it is clear that climate change is global in nature, has many causes and requires broad-based policy solutions that only Congress has the ability to enact.
What’s more, at a time when our energy security is at risk, Americans are facing rising prices and the federal government is working to encourage more domestic productions, we can hardly afford to subject federal energy policy to a patchwork of approaches from a multitude of state courts. State and local governments should work with manufacturers of all kinds to continue developing the technologies that will allow us to source and use energy more efficiently, protect our environment and ensure our energy security.”